September 17, 2021

Community of Practice (CoP)

The UK Evaluation Society welcomes the development of communities of practice (CoP) amongst members within the evaluation field.  Broadly, a CoP is a ‘group of people who share a concern or passion for something they do, and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly’ (Etienne and Beverley Wenger-Traynor, Introduction to CoPs, 2015).


CoPs tend to have three common elements:

  • Members have a shared area of interest and a common set of competencies
  • Communities pursue their interests through interaction, mutual support and joint activities
  • Members are practitioners who develop a shared practice and advance the development of their domain through their involvement in a CoP

The focus of a CoP may be one or several of the following, for example,

  • Problem-solving
  • Seeking information or experience from each other or elsewhere
  • Developing confidence in certain areas of practice
  • Discussing new ideas and developments

UKES is piloting a community of practice on aspects of the evaluation cycle – in the context of evaluating inclusive growth. This CoP is being developed and hosted by UKES North of England.

Contact person: Jessica Ozan – J.ozan@mmu.ac.uk

Delivering inclusive, sustainable growth is central to recovery and the UK Government’s Levelling Up agenda, which pro-actively seeks to redress the balance between growth in the North of England and the South.  Northern regions have also been particularly affected by the pandemic, but there is a clear opportunity to ‘build back better’. This requires interventions which are tailored to target communities and place, and which recognise the need to consider holistically the economic, social, and environmental dimensions of local issues in order to build stronger and more resilient communities. The pandemic has seen policy makers and commissioners observe a common recovery agenda to tackling many structural inequalities which has influenced co-design in place for a cross-system response. This post-pandemic policy context creates a new complexity for policymakers and evaluators which this Community of Practice provides a forum to explore.

Each CoP session will focus on a particular topic, introduced with initial examples from the North of England inclusive growth experience:

  • Dealing with complexity in commissioning and designing evaluation proposals for inclusive growth (Tuesday, October 19th 1300 – 1400Hrs), introduced by Sarah Thompson, Associate Director, Metro – Dynamics. Find out more.
  • Engaging stakeholders in evaluations for inclusive growth (Tuesday, November 9th 1300 – 1400Hrs), introduced by Sarah Chiu, Senior Consultant, Urban Solutions, Hatch. Find out more.
  • Measuring and understanding impact for inclusive growth (Tuesday, December 7th  1300 – 1400Hrs), introduced by Fran Marshall,  Research and Evaluation Manager, University of Sheffield. Find out more. 

The CoP is online and open to all UKES Members, wherever you are.

Bring your examples, the issues you have encountered, and your tactics and techniques in evaluating inclusive growth whether in the North of England or beyond/elsewhere.  Feel free to come to one or all of the CoP sessions.

Members – register for each online CoP session by clicking the links above or through our Events page.